Welcome to Nerd Nite SF, 3rd Wed. of every month!

Nerd Nite SF #128: Consciousness, Managing Your Manager, & a Spelling Bee!

Wednesday October 19, 2022
7pm, Rickshaw Stop
$10 online (+fees) / $12 door
Ticket link coming!

Join us at our last show at the Rickshaw Stop after 12 years of drinking and thinking there. Nerd Nite SF will enter its teen years at another venue next year. Let’s go out with a bang and a beer!

Also, back by popular vote at last month’s show: drunken spelling bee! Test your tolerance and spelling abilities to be crowned our second annual Spelling Champian (sic)! Drink tickets, your copy of This Is Ear Hustle, and a very special edition pin provided by our friends at the SF Public Library are all on the line! As usual, our esteemed local librarians will be on hand to fulfill your nerdy need for library swag & programming info as consolation in case you can’t spell.

Nineteen Ways of Looking at Consciousness
With Patrick House

Patrick House will return to the Nerd Nite stage to celebrate his new book! From the publisher:

A concise, elegant, and thought-provoking exploration of the mystery of consciousness and the functioning of the brain.

Despite decades of research, remarkable imagery, and insights from a range of scientific and medical disciplines, the human brain remains largely unexplored. Consciousness has eluded explanation.

Nineteen Ways of Looking at Consciousness offers a brilliant overview of the state of modern consciousness research in twenty brief, revealing chapters. Neuroscientist and author Patrick House describes complex concepts in accessible terms, weaving brain science, technology, gaming, analogy, and philosophy into a tapestry that illuminates how the brain works and what enables consciousness. This remarkable book fosters a sense of mystery and wonder about the strangeness of the relationship between our inner selves and our environment.

How to realistically manage your manager (or at least complain about them a little bit less)
With Jennifer Tschetter

People run around in fear of the “micro-managing manager”… but have we conflated micro-managing with just “managing?” Is it totally unfair that our managers want to have a line of sight into what we work on? Studies often show that people leave jobs because of poor managers, so why then do so many managers stink? Jennifer will shed some light on how your relationship with your manager goes two ways and you can take back some of the power to influence the relationship.

Jennifer (she/her) is a culture strategist and coach. Jennifer runs her own consulting firm where she coaches and trains teams. Managing people and fostering exceptional teams isn’t easy, so Jennifer gets brought in when managers may need some extra love and support. In her free time, she likes debating the accuracy of various science fiction and spending time with her dog, Neville Longbottom. You can learn more about her & her work here.

October is our last show at the Rickshaw Stop!

Some sad news, next month will be our last event at the Rickshaw Stop after years of calling them our home. They will continue to host their awesome lineups of emerging artists and dance parties, but Nerd Nite SF will be moving to a new, nerdy (and smaller) space. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, save the date for either October 19 or 20 (hope to nail down the day soon) to come out and celebrate our last Rickshaw show by drinking and thinking with us! Also, the return of our drunken spelling bee.

But some good news: we have officially welcomed David Faulkner, toxicologist comedian extraordinaire, into Nerd Nite cohost nerd-dom. Maybe you met him this month, and if you didn’t then come on out and meet him next month!

Nerd Nite SF #127: Sand Banks, Food Banks & Beakman’s World!

Wednesday September 14, 2022 (yes, 2nd Wed instead of 3rd)
7pm, Rickshaw Stop
$10 online (+fees) / $12 door
Tickets here!

On this special 2nd Wednesday edition of Nerd Nite SF, we will learn about sand and sustenance. Is sand sustenance? Well no, but it is important to life on earth!

We’ve recently added local artist and biographer Richard Bolingbroke to our lineup for this Wednesday! He will be sharing his research on Jok Church, the Bay Area cartoonist extraordinaire who brought us You Can With Beakman & Jax, which later inspired the popular kid’s science show Beakman’s World. Fun fact, our Nerd Nite program titles share the same format as Beakman’s World episode titles! See, e.g. “Cats, Beakmania & Dynamite” or “Sweat, Beakmania & Weighing a Car” which aired on September 14, 1996. Catch us this Wednesday September 14 in our year 2022 for more on the life and times of Jok Church and his popular science legacy! Email us your favorite Beakman’s World episodes, memories, or comics and win tickets for this Wednesday!

Thanks, Sand! The miraculous story of how the sediment cycle enables life on earth
with Jeremy Snyder

Sand is something that most people think of as a homogenous, inert substance that does little more than line our beaches. But the story of how sand goes from bedrock to beach is really the story of why earth’s landscapes look the way they do, and how all living things get the minerals and nutrients that make life possible. In this talk, Jeremy will take you on a photographic journey along the length of the Amazon and Colorado Rivers to illustrate the wonders of sand and why disruptions to this system (such as hydropower dams) pose a threat to us all.


Jeremy (he/him) is a photographer and science communicator with a lifelong passion for river science. After studying biology and geology in college, he embarked on a Thomas J Watson Fellowship around the world to understand and communicate the science of river systems. He currently works at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he helps teach science to students in K-12. You can see more of his work on his website, jeremysnyder.me

In an age of chronic dis-ease, are food banks a nexus for healing?
with Kevin Liu 

Have you volunteered at a food bank and asked yourself if the edible plants, animals, and their derivatives being distributed actually promote physical health? What about mental health? If so, you may be familiar with the concept of food as medicine – we know food is the sustenance that keeps us alive and energized, but it also supports the conditions for health and discourages the conditions for disease. Kevin Liu, a community nutritionist, will share the different paths for food from food banks to folks’ plates, and in doing so, help us realize how food can be an agent for individual and collective wellbeing.

Kevin (he/him) is a community nutritionist and counselor at Project Open Hand, a Tenderloin-based non-profit and community partner of the SF-Marin Food Bank. He is passionate about food and nutrition initiatives in underserved communities. In his free time, he can be found going on bike rides and/or communing with rad friends at concert venues.

As usual, our friends from the SF Public Library will be on hand to fulfill your nerdy need for library swag & programming info!

Be there, be square, and cash in on nerdy facts!


Nerd Nite SF #126: Hey Girl! Bingo + DNA Sequencing + Nuclear Energy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022
(postponed from 6/15)
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$15 (+fees) online, $20 at the door. Vaccine proof and masks required.

All are welcome. If you’d like to come but can’t afford it, just contact us.
Tickets here!

flyer for Nerd Nite SF: A bingo board with event details. June 29 2022, 7pm Rickshaw Stop.

Join us for Nerd Nite SF, the Pride month party edition, where the early nerd gets the worm (or, the free bingo square) and we lift up queer nerdery in SF.

We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be partnering with the bearded bingo babe herself, Shelix, for Hey Girl! Bingo before the talks begin. Come early (7:30pm) to kick off the evening with a drink and a bingo card! Nerdy prizes and drink tickets are up for grabs!

The evening will continue with another kind of helix, the DNA kind, and a foray into California’s last nuclear plant and how nuclear energy may provide a path forward in our energy crisis.

How to Sequence a Genome with Jess McLaughlin

Ever wonder exactly how you get DNA from, say, a fruit fly, a lizard, your dog, or even yourself, and actually turn it into something we can read? Would you have guessed it includes weird chemistry, magnets, fluorescent colors, and some very fancy dish soap? Jess McLaughlin, an evolutionary biologist, will explain how DNA sequencing is basically tech-wizardry, turning molecules in your cells into light and then into computer bytes.

Jess (they/them) is a postdoc at UC Berkeley, where they study the evolution of anole lizards in the Caribbean. They also research how new species of birds develop, and they have a passion for telling folks about just how weird biology can be.

Powering the Nerdtropolis: Why we need to save Diablo Canyon, our last nuclear power plant
with Guido D. Núñez-Mujica

California is facing not a only a climate crisis, but an energy crisis. Despite all our talk about renewables, we continue building natural gas plants and asking for emission limits to be increased. Even worse, we plan to close our largest zero emissions power plant in 2 years. In this talk, Guido will tell us what we can do about it and why it needs to stay open.

Guido (he/him) is data scientist working in environmental issues, with a background in computational biology. He’s a TED Fellow, a Cornell Alliance for Science Fellow and does volunteer work about immigration and human rights. On his spare time you might find him on a South of Market Leather bar, coding for fun, working on his documentary project, learning Hindi or trying to change the color of his urine.

Be there, be square, and win a bingo prize!

Nerd Nite SF #125: Explosions, Godzilla, and a 500 Mile Walk!

So Godzilla and a nuclear bomb walk into a bar…

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$12 (+fees) online, $17 at the door. Vaccine proof and masks required.

All are welcome. If you’d like to come but can’t afford it, just contact us.
Tickets here!

Exploding Wires & Nuclear Weapons: A Curiously Entwined History with Glenn Carroll
For about 175 years prior to the Trinity test in 1945, exploding wires had been noted but neither understood nor much studied. The success of implosion fission–reliant on exploding wire detonators–kicked off intense research on ex-wires in the US and abroad, as many parties around the world launched their own weapons development programs. In short, exploding wires made the bomb possible, while the success of the bomb drove decades-long efforts to understand exploding wires. This peculiar symbiosis has continued ever since, with exploding wires making regular appearances in the historical record of nuclear weapons R&D. This talk will give a very brief introduction to exploding wire phenomena, and survey the role ex-wires have played in nuclear weapons R&D.


Glenn Carroll is a former Machine Learning researcher with time in both academic and corporate environments. Post-retirement he has kept himself entertained with wide-ranging studies, electromagnetic experiments, and improving the shabby shop skills one might reasonably expect from an ML researcher. Exploding wire experiments have been a favored pastime for close
to a decade.

Godzilla: History, Biology, and Behavior of Hyper-Evolved Theropod Kaiju with Shyaporn Theerakulstit
Tsunami, earthquake, hurricane and typhoon all rolled in one, Godzilla, “King of the Monsters,” has both plagued and benefited humanity for over half a century. By examining the origins and zoology of this force of nature, people and nations will be better equipped to deal with the awesome destructive power of our radioactive visitor from the Cretaceous.

Shyaporn Theerakulstit is an actor, writer, YouTuber, cosplayer and general “nerd about town.” He has given talks at Nerd Nites in a half-dozen cities, as well as C2E2, TEDx and the Smithsonian. He has written and produced for Dark Horse Comics and is also the host of “Real/Fake Science” in NYC. His YouTube channel has been featured on Huffington Post and the Comedy Central blog.

Eat. Sleep. Walk. Repeat with Dwight Asuncion

image of presenter Dwight Asuncion in Antarctica with icebergs in background.
Dwight in Antarctica. Cool level: polar ice cap.

For over a millennium, pilgrims of all ages, genders, races, religions, and nations have walked the Way of St. James / Camino de Santiago (“the Camino”). The most common route is a 500 mile, 30 day journey starting in southern France and ending in northern Spain, in Santiago de Compostela. What is the Camino? Why has it appealed to religious and non-religious alike through the centuries? In recent years, why have so many people gone? (Since 2013, more than 200,000 pilgrims per year!). Why has it made such an imprint on the pilgrims who have walked it? (Paulo Coelho walked the Camino and named his protagonist in The Alchemist Santiago).


Come learn about why you should consider doing the Camino from Dwight Asuncion, world traveler and travel writer. Dwight has traveled to all 7 continents and 25+ countries and considers his Camino experience the best / most important trip of his life.

And remember kids, if you’ve ever given a talk at Nerd Nite then you get free admission to Nerd Nite forever! Just send us your name and the title of the talk you gave (and optionally the name of your guest).

…see you in a couple weeks to see how this ends!

Nerd Nite SF #124: Fossils, Songs & Becoming Psychedelic People!

Thanks to everyone who attended our March event. With your support, we were able to donate over $300 to Ukrainian aid! 

This month on 4/20 we are talking fossils, psychedelic medicine, and songs inspired by moth life cycles and urban cycling. If you were looking forward to learning about herbs on 4/20, don’t worry, our friends at the SF Public Library will have you covered with their table on Evergreen Week programming! 
Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$10 online, $15 at the door. Vaccine proof and masks required.
Tickets here!

How to Become a Fossil: A 5 Step Program for Longevity and Success
Are you over this life and not particularly interested in being preserved in the Metaverse? Does being preserved as a fossil sound like a more fulfilling way to extend your existence into perpetuity? Well then do we have the program for you!

Maricela works with fossils and their data at the California Academy of Sciences, and organizes Nerd Nite SF in her “spare” time. Sometimes speakers have to cancel at the last minute and then she has to come up with a talk to give. This is one of those times.

Get the f*** out of the bike lane! with Noam Osband
Noam is our friendly neighborhood anthropologist-director-producer-singer-of-nerdy-songs. Through his tunes you’ll learn about moth lifecycles and various other topics, including but not limited to urban cycling etiquette and his PhD research on migrant labor. 

Noam is an anthropologist, musician, and director/producer living in San Francisco. He helps us learn stuff through songs and restores faith in humanity by interviewing people on the street about their first kiss, among other things. 


Becoming Psychedelic People with Dr. Mellody Hayes
Dr. Hayes is on a mission to get you and everyone around you to wake up and reject the Disneyland version of yourself. While she wants you all to love yourselves and connect with others, she is also bringing the transformative power of psychedelic-assisted therapies to those experiencing post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and the complex emotions of end-of-life care. She’ll help us overcome alienating dominant narratives through community-building, discuss her work in changing the western medicine narrative of psychedelics, and highlight psychedelic medicine’s ability to remap pathways of pain in patients with PTSD and other mental illnesses.  

Dr. Mellody Hayes is an evidence-based and spiritually-centered medical expert in the emerging clinical science of Psychedelic Medicine. Dr. Hayes is a graduate of Harvard and UCSF medical school and is an anesthesiologist, leader, public speaker and founding member of Decriminalize Nature. She’s also the founder of a Bay Area clinic that offers psychedelic ketamine therapy. Dr. Hayes is the creator of How We Heal, an online community of healers and leaders committed to creating belonging, safety, and health for all people, particularly those from historically marginalized communities. Get to know her more in this podcast!